- Help identify animal tracks and locate potential spots of animal snares
- Enjoy an overnight camping trip with the indigenous tribe
- Reduce the chances of animals getting trapped
- Help conserve caves in Merapoh by going caving
Malaysia is blessed with a high biodiversity of wildlife. Unfortunately, many of its most emblematic animals are under severe threat.
You will help protect Malaysia’s most amazing animals by going on jungle patrols on the borders of Malaysia's largest national park, Taman Negara. The borders are where poaching numbers are highest due to the small strip of forest left connecting the wild animals living in Taman Negara to the rest of the wild animals living in Malaysia.
Participate in jungle treks (3-5 hours long) through the Sungei Yu Forest Reserve along the tiger corridor connecting Taman Negara and the Titiwangsa Mountain Range -- deter poaching and collect presence data for various NGOs and researchers. Visit several of the 70+ limestone caves in the region, learn bushcraft skills from the Batek tribe, and run your own mini conservation or community project.
Our project is focused on poacher surveillance patrols where you will help our team to decipher clues of human encroachments in the forest reserves to deter/reduce poaching. You won’t only analyze human movements but also elephants, tigers, sun bears, tapir, gibbons and more. You will help to collect pug marks, scratch marks and other signs of our fury friends in the forest.
ECO WALKS (Educational, Conservation & Observation)
A medium level of fitness is required for the jungle walks. The walks are supposed to be slow to enable the guides to search for tracks and animal signs HOWEVER this is a tropical rainforest where humidity can reach 90-100%. It may not be hot but between the humidity and the inevitable encounters with leeches, this is not a trip for the faint-hearted!
Walks are generally 3-5 hours long depending on the group and the route chosen. These jungle walks are fascinating and will really allow you to feel like one of the animals in the forest whilst looking out for signs of humans and poachers. If any snares are found, the GPS locations will be recorded and then they will be destroyed. Even old discarded snares continue to catch animals so it is vital that they are removed to prevent any further harm. If you’re keen to develop the skills needed for rainforest conservation, you will also be taught how to use GPS for location recording! Here, you will learn how to log the coordinates of any pug marks, snares, land clearings or road kill found.
In 2018 we’ll also have more activities, from using SMART for anti-poaching patrols, to earning a tree-climbing certificate. Not to mention learning GIS skills!
There are over 70 limestone caves in the Merapoh region. The actual caves that you visit will depend on weather, group size and group ability. The caves are fantastic – some even have rivers and waterfalls inside. The presence of limestone formations creates the most fantastic scenery. These caves are home to various animals including thousands of swiflets that group together at sunset and can be seen flying around a nearby town called Gua Musang. The Batek people have used these caves for centuries, as can be seen by the many cave drawings that can be found inside.
LOCAL TRIBAL VILLAGE
Volunteers staying for 1 week or more will learn bushcraft skills from the Batek tribe and may get the chance to go camping with the tribe and learn how they live in the jungle, weather depending! If you come for a minimum of 2 weeks, you will have the opportunity to help teach the Batek children basic English, maths and science through educational activities. These sessions are great fun but serve an important function, as the area has been earmarked for an increase in tourism and without being able to speak English, these tribal people will not be able to benefit from the new industry.
You will be staying in the Fuze Ecoteer flat in the village of Merapoh. The flat has three bedrooms, kitchen, and a great rooftop space. Phone reception and WiFi available.
Lunch is provided daily along with one Malay dinner at a local family's home. Volunteers can make use of shared kitchen in the Fuze Ecoteer flat, or experience local Malaysian cuisine through nearby restaurants and food stalls.